What is Hanukkah?

The joyous festival of Hanukkah begins on 25 Kislev of the Jewish calendar. It celebrates two miracles – a great Jewish military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple.

We celebrate Hanukkah – also called the Festival of Lights – for eight days. The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle that’s used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night, two on the second night, until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night. Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to eat holiday treats, to give gifts (especially to children) and to play the dreidel game. Now let’s take a look at the history and roots of Hanukkah to find out why it became a holiday at all.

Hanukkah will be celebrated on the following dates:

  • December 16 – 24, 2014
    (Jewish year 5775)
  • December 6 – 14, 2015
    (Jewish year 5776)
  • December 24, 2016 – January 1, 2017
    (Jewish year 5777)
  • December 12 – 20, 2017
    (Jewish year 5778)

Learn More About This Special Holiday

How We Help

To ensure that they can truly enjoy Hanukkah’s celebration of God’s provision, The Fellowship provides Jewish people in need throughout the former Soviet Union with food assistance, gives thousands of needy elderly and families in Israel food cards or packages, and provides Israel Defense Forces soldiers Hanukkah gift cards, which they can use toward food and other basic necessities during this festive time of year.